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Anything goes---musings on Christmas music, movies, history, memories---anything Christmas that moves me to write. I hope you find something to enjoy here!

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Keeping Christmas

Posted 12-24-2010 at 10:00 AM by MerryCarey (MerryCarey's Blog)

The past two years I have posted this text in the forums as an annual Christmas greeting to all forum readers. It's an excerpt from The Spirit of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke. It's too good not to share; it's a wonderful expression of the true spirit of Christmas.

Keeping Christmas
By Henry Van Dyke

It is a good thing to observe Christmas day. The mere marking of times and seasons, when men agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wise and wholesome custom. It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life. It reminds a man to set his own little watch, now and then, by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time.

But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the...
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The Christmas Angel, by Abbie Farwell Brown

Posted 12-01-2010 at 11:21 AM by MerryCarey (MerryCarey's Blog)



Occasionally a thread pops up in the Merry Forums asking for advice on good Christmas books to read. This little book, one hundred years old this year, is always my answer. I stumbled across it a few years ago, read it, and fell in love with it. Living Age magazine in 1910 reviewed the book by saying, “Not since Charles Dickens laid down his pen forever has there been a prettier Christmas story written, one more full of the real spirit of Christmas or conveying a more seasonable lesson.” High praise, but well deserved.

When you first begin to read the story, you may believe that you’re reading yet another variation on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The main character, old Miss Terry, is a female Scrooge if ever there was one. “What is our Christmas, anyway?” she scoffs. “A time for shopkeepers to sell and for foolish folks to kill themselves in buying. Christmas spirit? No! It is...
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Mrs. Carey's Fruit Cake

Posted 11-23-2010 at 04:06 PM by MerryCarey (MerryCarey's Blog)

Some of you may know that my father passed away in October, leaving me the last surviving member of the family I grew up in. It also leaves me the sole owner and guardian of a well-worn index card that bears a typed recipe with handwritten amendments, and is stained with baking ingredients and years of use.

Fruitcake was never a joke in our house. I suppose I was in high school before I was aware that in many households, Christmas fruitcake was a despised object of ridicule. But not the fruitcake my parents made from a recipe passed down through my family. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, various friends and neighbors never failed to remind my parents: “Don’t forget to save me some fruitcake again this year!”

On Thanksgiving Day, our kitchen was always busy—but not with turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Instead, our kitchen table groaned with ingredients and a huge roasting pan in which my mother and father compounded the batter...
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Are You a Spug?

Posted 10-19-2010 at 02:42 PM by MerryCarey (MerryCarey's Blog)

This is my maiden voyage as a blogger. This time it's a trip back in time to 1912 to visit a little-known chapter in Christmas history.

Are you a Spug?

Well, let’s see… Do you believe that it is foolish to join in giving Christmas presents to those higher up? Do you believe that it is vulgar to give Christmas presents only because they are given to you? Do you believe that it is wicked to give Christmas presents without love and common sense?

In 1912, if you answered “yes” to these questions, you had what it took to become a Spug. You could get together with four others who shared your beliefs to form a Spug Squad, choose a captain, and write to the Spug headquarters in New York City for membership cards and official Spug pins. As a full-fledged Spug, your mission would be to “make as many converts as possible,” and “to eliminate by co-operative effort the custom of giving indiscriminately at Christmas, and to further in every way the true Christian...
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